Dora Malech grew up in Maryland, and earned a BA in Fine Arts from Yale and an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her awards include a Clapp Fellowship from Yale, Capote and Teaching-Writing Fellowships from Iowa, a Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship, and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship. Malech's poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry London, and elsewhere. She is the author of Shore Ordered Ocean (2010), and Say So (2011).

Malech has taught writing at the University of Iowa; Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters in Wellington, New Zealand; Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Augustana College; and Saint Mary’s College of California. She lives in Iowa City, where she writes, draws, teaches, and coordinates the Iowa Youth Writing Project, an arts outreach program for children and teens.